Generally speaking, most cars nowadays come with power locks. Power locks automatically lock the door automatically and have a lot of advantages over traditional manual locks and windows.
So if you have a used car with manual locks, you can look into replacing them with power locks.
Overall, it will cost about $400 to replace your manual locks with power locks if you hire a professional. You can buy a 2-door DIY power lock replacement kit for about $70 and a 4-door kit for about $130.
A $70 kit will normally come with enough components to install power locks on at least two doors. You may also need to factor in the cost of tools for the DIY installation and extra fixtures like switch plates and wiring.
Power locks are extremely useful on modern cars, so you will want to look into an installation. We put together this guide on the costs of installing power locks.
We will cover the different types of locks and talk about factors affecting installation costs.
- Manual Locks vs Power Locks
- How Much Does it Cost to Install Power Locks?
- Power Lock System Parts
- How to Install Manual Locks
- Frequently Asked Questions
Manual Locks vs Power Locks
Old cars use simple mechanical locks that need to be operated individually. While reliable, manual locks are not that common anymore.
The convenience of power locks has pretty much replaced manual locks, though there are still some models of cars that come with manual locks.
Power locks wire your door locks to an electronic controller that can lock them all at the same time remotely. With power locks, you can lock all your doors at the same time rather than deal with them one by one.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Power Locks?
If you go with professional installation, then you can expect to pay upwards of $400 to have power locks installed on your doors. Some makes and models of cars will cost up to $600 or more to install power locks.
The cost to install power locks can be broken down into parts and labor. Labor is usually the most expensive part and costs between $300 to $600. Generally speaking, you can get power window installation at the same time for a discounted price.
Power locks may or may not be connected to a remote key fob. If you get power locks professionally installed, you often have the option to add remote control capabilities.
One option for costs is to buy a power lock replacement kit. A typical kit comes with
- Control/power devices
You may also have to modify the door of your car so the new components will fit.
Below is a table with the price of some of the more popular door locks we found from various online vendors.
|AutoLoc Power Accessories 9807 Bear Claw Latch||$107|
|MACs Auto Parts 4874705 2 Door Power Lock Kit||$97|
|Universal Car Central Power Door Keyless Entry Kit||$48|
|XYZCTEM Power Central Lock Remote Control Kit||$30|
|Eunavi Keyless Entry System||$39|
|Maso Car Remote 4 Door Central Locking Kit||$65|
As you can see, most lock replacement kits are fairly cheap. We recommend choosing a more expensive kit as those usually have better-quality parts.
We would not recommend spending less than $20 on a power lock replacement kit as it probably has shoddy parts.
Power Lock System Parts
Instead of buying a DIY kit, you can also buy the parts individually. We will cover the average cost for the parts you need to install power locks.
The actuator is the mechanical piece that connects to the power supply and actually moves the lock. Most actuators need a 12 supply of power. You will need to open your door panel to remove the original locks and replace them with actuators.
Here is a table with the cost of various popular car door actuators.
|Runmade Universal High CAr Power Lock Actuator||$14|
|Zone Tech 4-Pack Door Lock Actuator||$17|
|Zone Tech 2-Pack Door Lock Actuator||$10|
|TracyPart 4-Door Power Lock Actuator Set||$40|
|VaygWay Universal Door Lock Actuator||$17|
|SYERAL Power Door Lock Actuators||$32|
|ESUPPORT Plastic Universal Power Lock Actuator||$14|
Also, when looking at actuator parts, make sure to see if the piece you are buying includes an internal motor. Otherwise, you will have to buy and install a separate actuator motor.
The typical actuator motor can cost around $90 to $120 per motor.
Power Lock Control Switch
The last major component you will need is the main controller unit. This is the part that goes into your door and allows you to open the locks with stitches.
Some controllers have switches for controlling power locks and for controlling power windows (see our guide on window motor cost).
Below is a table with the price of several popular models of power lock control switches.
|Power Lock Control||Price|
|NewYall Front Left Driver Side Door Lock||$11|
|Motorcraft SW7080 Switch||$63|
|Standard Motor Products DS1448 Lock Switch||$24|
|Evan Fischer Door Lock Switch||$14|
Power lock switches are fairly cheap. You need to install them into the door and wire them to the rest of the locks and the car battery.
You do not necessarily have to buy a lock switch designed for the exact model of your car. You may have to change the shape of your door with an upholstery knife to fit the new power lock switches.
Power lock installations require several other miscellaneous parts. We will give a quick list below of these parts and their costs.
- Wiring. Most power lock installation kits come with the required wires. If you need extra wiring components, you can usually find the necessary 5-pin connector wires for around $10.
- Key fobs. A typical keyfob will cost between $10-$20. Most people want two, so expect to pay about $40 extra for remote lock capabilities.
- Actuator mounts. You need mounts to install the actuator. A set of 4 actuator mounts should cost just around $10 or less.
How to Install Manual Locks
You will have to open up your door panel and remove components to install power locks. The specifics differ depending on your model but here is the general process.
Remove the Door Panel/Handle
You will most likely need a special tool to open the door panel to remove the handle and expose the lock. Your car’s manual should have instructions on how to remove your door panel and whether you need any specific tools.
Remove the Original Locks
The next step is to remove the original locks. Take out the lock then attach mounts for your actuators. Once the actuators are in place, make sure the lock rod lines up with the original lock connection.
Reattach the original locks
Wire the Locks
A typical power lock system runs on your car’s main battery. You will need to connect the actuator motors with a hot circuit on your car, most likely one on the dashboard.
Connect the wires to the locking module and secure the locking module in place. Test the module to make sure that it has power and activates all of the locks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get power locks and windows installed?
Yes, you can get power locks installed on a car with manual locks. You can buy a DIY kit online and replace them yourself or you can pay for a mechanic to do it.
Keep in mind that DIY installation will involve some wiring and adding switches to the door.
How much does it cost to replace manual locks with power locks?
A DIY power lock replacement kit will cost you about $70 on average. If you pay for a professional to install your locks, you can expect to pay about $400.
Depending on your car’s make and model, you could end up paying up to $600 to install power locks. Other parts such as wiring, mounts, and control switches shouldn’t cost you more than $40 to $50 combined.
Will power locks work with a dead battery?
No, if your power locks use your battery as a power supply, they will not work when your car battery is dead. Your key fob may still have a battery but you won’t be able to use it to open your doors.
Is it more expensive to DIY install power locks or go to a shop?
It is overall less expensive to install power locks on your own, but hiring a pro is the recommended option if you don’t have previous experience writing cars.
Manual locks have their mechanical charm, but they are quickly becoming a thing of the past. If you have a car with manual locks and want to put on power locks, the good news is that you can for a relatively modest sum.
Installing a new power lock system on your car should run you in the neighborhood of $400 if you hire a pro. But you can find installation kits for less than $100 if you are looking for an affordable solution.